An evolutionary perspective on oxytocin and its behavioral effects
Review articleOpen access

Highlights•A number of theories have been proposed to account for the effects of oxytocin.•The circumstances in which oxytocin is released are also key to an understanding of function.•Oxytocin's psychological effects likely evolved through cooption of effects on mothers.•Oxytocin may gear attention and motives toward at-risk but valued relationships.•Oxytocin may more generally modulate how an organisms resources are utilized.

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